Editing Slow-Down

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Well, between the drilling–punctuated today with some enthusiastic hammering–and the migraine that’s been going since last week, my editing roll has stopped rolling. Which is a shame.

But when you are trying to type and you cannot remember how to spell “hire,” and instead, are stuck on “higher,” it’s probably an indication that editing won’t be as effective as you might have hoped. With the insistent noise today, I’m not sure it’s going to clear. Though it has to clear. I have things that must be done today.

A day of cool, perfect silence would be ideal, but cool, perfect silence is a rare commodity lately. Cool I have, as the temperatures have turned toward the decidedly fall-y, but perfect silence?

Not so much.

So I will pop my acetaminophen, and look forward toward their lunch break. I mean, these guys have to eat lunch, right?

As for the editing, we’ll see how it goes. Keep your pencils crossed for me.

Have a minute? Watch this video.

Rather read? Check out  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only) .

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 

 

Plot Points, A to G

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I.L. Wolf:

I’m still editing, but I figured I’d share something with you today. Maybe not something I’ve written myself, but something which is, I think, a good read. When you’re stuck in your writing, never underestimate your ability to leave clues for yourself. SloopJonB explains below.

Originally posted on sloopjonb:

Today I was working on the closing story in the (mostly) Serious Fantasy Sequence, and I scored a plot point. I wrote a while ago about how it was fun and useful to build up backstories for your characters, even if you never use all the details. It helps you define the character in your own mind, but, also, you may find as I did today that those details can come in very useful. I needed to get characters A and R to Castle G. G is far away from A & R’s home town, it is deserted and dangerous. A & R are only sixteen (going on seventeen) and there is no way they would be allowed to make such a long and hazardous journey on their own. OK, thinks I, perhaps they could break the journey up by going to B first, where they can pick up a…

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Editing Beckons

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Gone EditingThere’s a magic spot that happens with every manuscript, where you summit the seemingly insurmountable peak of editing, and it starts to snowball.

I am finally there.

So I may not be the best blogger in the world for the next little bit, or the best tweeter, or the best, well, anything. I’ll be off and away with my manuscript, my metaphorical red pen, and this mass of a thing that is starting to pull itself together. And in the not-too-distant future, perhaps, perhaps, I will have a new book.

And how exciting is that.

In the meanwhile, if you miss me and my random thoughts, feel free to check out one of my books below. Happy writing and reading to all.

Now where’s my helmet and my eye protection? This could get messy.

Have a minute? Watch this video.

Rather read? Check out  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only) .

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 

Heston Blumenthal and the Nature of Art

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A friend sent me some YouTube clips of British chef Heston Blumenthal, and I can’t get the man out of my head. The first was of Blumenthal making look-alike tableware out of food, and the second, his tricking the guests with it. Here’s that second video:

Time could disappear and stomachs can churn as you go through the videos, one clip at a time, watching this man and his unique relationship with food. Not so much with the dessert, I’d be with him for the dessert; I mean things like the dormouse lollipops covered in white chocolate. No, really.

But it brings up the question that arises time and time again: what makes art?

No matter what you think of Heston Blumenthal as a preparer of food for consumption, he is, without question, an artist. He transforms his diners’ ideas of what constitutes food. He pushes the boundaries of what food can look like, how it can behave, what the experience of eating it can be.

Even from a distance of thousands of miles, without a hint of a taste or smell, he’s created an experience for me, the viewer, in watching his diners confront and interpret his food. Above all else, I think Blumenthal is a performance artist, using a process to provoke the emotions of his audience, which isn’t limited to those people eating his creations.

Is his style all flash and mirrors? Perhaps, but if it is, both the flash and mirror are completely edible.

Have a minute? Watch this video.

Rather read? Check out  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only) .

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Five Stages of Editing Grief

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Going through the editing process with my current novel, I’ve noticed that, like grief, editing has its own five stages. And, like grief, most of them aren’t that pleasant to go through, but it has to be done if you want a finished product. So here they are, the Five Stages of Editing Grief.

Stage One: Denial

Hey, this isn’t so bad! First time reading it, it’s got some real merit. I spent all that time writing, and look at this, I wrote, and, ahem, it’s pretty good. Well, it is that bad, it’s simply covered in the warm, fuzzy haze of denial, which lasts just until you get to the parts that you glued together with chewing gum and peanut butter. When you find them, the sharp sound of cracking denial echoes across the land.

Stage Two: Anger

Stupid manuscript. It would be be great if it wasn’t so stupid. This stage usually hits sometime around the chewing-gum-peanut-butter-sticky bits. Remember that part that you said you’d figure out later? Well, later is now, my friend. And the reality that the Plot Fairy didn’t come along while you were sleeping and wave her magic pencil to fix it can be a tad enraging.

Stage Three: Bargaining

OK, Plot Fairy. You don’t have to wave your magic pencil. Maybe just a small sprinkle of magic pencil shavings? Just the little crumby bits that get wedged into the corners of the magic pencil sharpener? When you get to this stage, you may be willing to trade just about anything–your car; your significant other; chocolate (well probably not chocolate, let’s not get carried away here)–to make that twisty sentence come straight. Oh well, that’s what the next time through is for, right?

Stage Four: Depression

Except the next time through the sentence before it and the sentence after it now seem wrong. And how did that character get there? And why is this person saying that? That makes no sense. IT MAKES NO SENSE! None of it. Why even bother to write a book? What’s the point of it all? And now I have to go through the whole manuscript again?  What good will it do? This is hard. Where’s the remote, I want to watch women with too much money, too much makeup and too much silicone say catty things to one another.

Stage Five: Acceptance

Hey, that was funny. Wait, that plot wiggle works! Yes, she would say that! That character, what a character. This feels complete and solid. No, none of the sentences catch like eye-Velcro as I’m reading them anymore. If you hang in, and you are one of the Diligent Editors, one day you will get up, and you will look at your manuscript and you will say “Hey, this isn’t so bad!” and this time, it won’t be.

Have a minute? Watch this video.

Rather read? Check out  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only) .

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 

Social Media Surprise

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So I got a truly wonderful surprise yesterday. Jon, over at SloopJonB made me a lovely poster about my books:

Keep Calm ILWApparently, there was something going around Facebook about your favorite writers (I’m not sure what, I am a terrible Facebooker), and Jon chose to make a poster about me! How nice is that? You may notice it up there on the left, where it’s found a comfy new home, and it just may show up elsewhere, as well.

So go read Jon’s blog, it’s a great read, follow him on Twitter, because he’s clearly one of the nicest humans on Earth, and really, how many of those could there really be? You kind of owe it to science.

I’m a social media skeptic at heart, if I’m truly being honest, but Jon is proof of the good things it can bring. I let my Twitter account language for years until this summer, when I decided to really give it a shot, and, in a surprise twist, I actually like it. I met Jon through Twitter, and he became a reader, then a friend, and now a beautiful poster-maker. I never would have expected that from 140 characters or fewer.

There are many small things to try in this mushy thing we call life, and some work out exactly as expected, and some don’t. But if you don’t try them, you’ll never know what you might have missed.

Since You Asked…

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Have you joined Kindle Unlimited? If you have, my books are free to read. What’s that, you say? You are so subtle with your self-promotion that I had no idea that you had books available for reading? Yes, hypothetical reader, and thank you for that remarkably, spontaneously perfect question. I have two offbeat humorous sci-fi books, a less-offbeat, humorous cozy mystery, and a collection of, hmm, unusual flash fiction short stories (which is free free on Amazon.com).

Sorry, hypothetical reader, I couldn’t quite hear you over the hammering/drilling combo I have going on today, you’ll have to speak up. What was that? Oh, you’d like to know more about these books? Oh, stop, hypothetical reader, you’re embarrassing me!

But if you insist…

Humorous Science Fiction:

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)

The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management

Cozy Mystery:


Her Cousin, Much Removed

Short Story Collection:

Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities